PHILADELPHIA – As in other cities in America, thousands took to the streets early Saturday to celebrate President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump.
But the celebration in Philly was especially boisterous, both because of the character of a city renowned for its efforts, and because the longtime Democratic stronghold was saved early and often by Trump as a corrupt and corrupt place. broken.
Trump has repeatedly reiterated the legacy of “bad things” happening in Philadelphia during the election campaign, specifically suggested his MAGA cronies watch out for non-existent frauds – which they did, to no effect – and generally did talked shit about a city known for not accepting insults.
Instead of flexing, the home of a vibrant working-class culture perhaps best embodied by a hockey mascot (likely an antifa affiliate), “Gritty,” fueled the growing margin that pushed Biden to the top in Pennsylvania, giving him the presidency.
“In return for saving the nation, Philadelphia humbly asks you to stop bringing up that time we threw snowballs at Santa 60 years ago,” said Lauren Vidas, a Democratic election lawyer here that has been at the heart of the GOP’s legal attempts to stop or the protest vote counts.
At noon on Saturday, locals gathered along main streets, in parks and on their sidewalks, where relief, joy and ecstasy were in the foreground after an agonizing week of returning ballots with all eyes on them riveted on their city. Anxiety only intensified as Trump supporters began to hover outside a vote counting site at the Philadelphia Convention Center, and several MAGA gunmen were pulled over and arrested in an alleged attempt to cause chaos on Thursday evening.
“It’s a weight that I took off, on all of us,” Aggie Arnold, 29-year-old quality assurance specialist and South Philly resident, told The Daily Beast, adding, “I’ve heard from people. screaming out, that’s how I knew he won.
These feelings weren’t exactly hard to find. Philly is a strongly Democratic city that has seen some of the largest and most vocal protests against police brutality in the country this year – and is also marred by poverty and a history of institutional racism that many associated with the president.
“I cried uncontrollably as soon as I heard it. It has been a long time since we saw any joy here. We needed it, ”said Kristine Terrado, a 39-year-old engineer who lives in South Philly with her daughter Marigold, 5.
Terrado was standing outside with some neighbors, drinking champagne from a plastic cup, beaming and playing Beyonce. “My daughter looked at me and said, ‘Mom, the vice president looks like me. She has brown skin like me! she said, referring to Senator Kamala Harris, who will also be the first woman to hold the post of deputy chair.
People flocked to Rittenhouse Square in the city center in the middle of a weekly farmer’s market, where a marching band performed “Isn’t She Lovely” as friends beamed at each other and families strolled with friends. toddlers in tow, many holding Biden / Harris Signs 2020.
Donna Cassidy, 63, a former nurse who lives in Center City, had one word to describe how she was feeling: “Euphoric. Absolutely euphoric. I feel like we just won the Super Bowl again.
Sports culture here is one thing, and sometimes a bit of a cliché. But the fact that Philadelphia is the cradle of American democracy has not escaped the notice of celebrators.
“Once again, Philadelphia has delivered,” said Elyse Wilkinson, a 27-year-old business student who was on hiatus between classes with a group of friends to celebrate. “I’m from here, and the fact that I got to vote here means everything to me. You know, this is where we first came together as a country around democracy. It’s not perfect, but now we’re going to have a black woman in the White House. It gives us the vision that nothing is impossible. We are here and we belong.
Darren Lipscomb, a 35-year-old law student at Temple University, donned a Black Lives Matter mask to join in the celebration along Broad Street. He stood right outside City Hall, where people gathered for months to protest police brutality and more recently the deadly shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. in West Philadelphia.
“We lost our shit when we heard it,” Lipscomb said. “This victory means that work can start again at the federal level. We absolutely must not rest on our laurels. We the people of Philly voted for the president-elect, but the [Fraternal Order of Police] approved Trump, so there is clearly still a division. We must keep moving forward. “
Lipscomb is from West Philly and has said the fatal shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr. last week cannot be forgotten simply because of the victory of Democrats and Biden supporters. “There is still a lot of work to do,” he says.
By early afternoon, the main streets of the city were blocked off as people continued to line the street. Residents blasted the Rocky theme song, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder, and the town’s unofficial theme song, “Dreams and Nightmares” by Meek Mill. A giant papier-mâché eagle worn by celebrators walked down Broad Street, photographed by local news. Signs reading “Good things are happening in Philadelphia” appeared among the crowds gathered in Center City, West Philly, and Independence Hall, where the US Constitution was ratified in 1788.
The romance of Pennsylvania being the decisive state was repeated by many people across a city who couldn’t be more thrilled with her. moment in the spotlight.
“It’s incredible. But we knew from the start that we were the only thing standing in the way of another four years of this murderous and corrupt administration, ”said Vidas, the local election lawyer. “The Pennsylvanians seized the opportunity to offer President-elect Biden the decisive victory necessary to end this nightmare.”
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